Schools should move away from the distinctions of ‘male’ and ‘female’, according to transsexual guidance for Scottish teachers.
A new 30-page policy document endorses ‘gender fluidity’, described as a “flexible range of gender expression which may change over time and sometimes as frequently as on a daily basis”.
The guidance claims that children can choose their gender, and says teachers should help a child to withhold their ‘gender choices’ from parents if necessary.
The document, produced by NHS Scotland in collaboration with three local authorities, says schools have an “opportunity to challenge typical gender stereotypes” of male and female.
It continues: “It is important that if a child or young person does not want their parents to know [about changing gender], the school must respect their wishes. Breaking confidentiality may put the young person at risk in their home.”
It’s going to completely estrange institutions from parents.
Responding to the news, Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: “Teachers are not experts in this area and dabbling in it as though they are is likely to cause considerable confusion.”
Josie Appleton, head of civil liberties organisation the Manifesto Club, warned that the policy will sow division between parents and schools.
She told the Mail on Sunday: “The idea that authorities have a policy document which essentially says schools have the licence over children’s identities, and keep that private from parents, is outrageous.
“It’s going to completely estrange institutions from parents.”
Appleton cautioned that children are being encouraged to ‘change their gender’ saying: “If children are presenting with these issues, then obviously schools have to deal with them – but they shouldn’t have a policy that encourages that.”
The document – Supporting Transgender And Gender Variant Children and Young People: Guidance for Schools – also suggests the use of “gender-neutral” books and games in class.
Another section urges staff to contact foreign border controls before a school trip to ensure that transsexualism is not illegal in that country.
Several of Scotland’s main party leaders have endorsed The Time for Inclusive Education campaign (TIE), which calls for teaching on a number of LGBT issues and topics to be made a compulsory part of the curriculum, including:
– Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia;
– Same-sex relationships;
– The Equal Rights Movement, Stonewall and the Gay Liberation Movement;
– Sexualities and sexual orientation;
– Transsexualism and gender identity;
– And pro-LGBT sexual health education.